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Why study Italian in Rome? You should try to imagine a city that is a museum, where every house and every stone hides the tales of the past, knows the secrets of the words and how words have changed and have transformed themselves during the centuries. You should just listen attentively, and Rome's marble and travertine will start to speak to you, to tell you marvellous stories about Italian language, Italian art and history. Yes, Rome is really an ideal place to study Italian. Not secondarily, it's here that the neutral, average Italian is spoken. Italian spoken in Rome is exactly the language of TV, the most updated and most widely spread in today's Italy.
Furthermore, Rome is almost the only Italian town where the local dialect practically disappeared, and you won't be disappointed by the strange way people may speak to you in the street as happens, for example, in Milan, Venice or Palermo. Modern Rome is a great European capital, offering all year round a rich cultural life, made up of exhibitions, festivals, concerts. Preparing to 2000 Jubilee all museums and monuments in Rome have been restored, and now they can finally show themselves in all their majesty. Rome never leaves anybody indifferent. Rome fascinates and seduces you at the first sight. How does it manage? Which is the secret? Probably the secret is the capability of this wonderful town to adapt to what each one is expecting and longing for, to understand and to awaken the inner emotions of everybody.
Rome knows how to speak to one's soul, but it is never intrusive, nor aggressive, and just changes in a protean way according to each one's desires. If you are sentimental, Rome will bewitch you with the magic of its sunsets, always coloured in a half African, half lunar red, always marked on the skyline by the grey-blue dome of St. Peter, that looks sculptured in ice. If you are rational, Rome will conquer you with the symmetries of its arches and bridges, with the extraordinary strength of buildings and relicts of buildings standing for thousands of years. If you are curious, Rome will invite you to discover its typical narrow lanes, Roman walls incorporated in medieval buildings, genuine and savoury traditional kitchen, often originally updated. In any case, Rome will surprise you. And to better enjoy surprises, you have to keep your eyes up. Yes, exactly: opening the secrets hidden in the higher floors of buildings is worth the risk of getting a twisted ankle. You'll see Holy Mother's pictures in elaborated frames, frescoed façades, cornices and tympanums taking the most fantastic forms around the windows. Of course, Rome offers also more magnificent surprises.
Try to walk late at night in the narrow lanes of the piazza Santi Apostoli area: you will surely be drawn by a strange, inexplicable murmur, increasingly growing and getting like a mysterious roar: what's on? Organ music? A political meeting? Sheep are passing by? A few more steps in the direction of the sound, and you'll discover a lace fully covered with water and with the music of the water, that falls from 112 different points in the enormous basin of Trevi's Fountain. Or you can walk along via del Teatro Valle to piazza Sant'Eustachio. When you get there, you have to stand in the centre of the place and look upward the building on your left: over the roof of the palace, a stair made of white fire will appear, screwing in the sky and driving there a golden sphere. This is the lantern of St.Ivo's church, Francesco Borromini's baroque chef d'oeuvre.
The next surprise needs the contribute of your fancy: you have to go back very far in time, and walk up to the second floor of the Greek Library, glancing around at the precious papyruses in the halls covered with multicolour marbles; when you are upstairs, you just have to go to the window: at a distance of five metres, in a narrow court-yard closed from four sides by buildings already not existing for two thousand years, you will see terrible fights of men and horses carved in the marble, warriors trying to escape through the Dacian woods, ships going up rivers, towns under siege. Unfortunately, today it is possible to admire the marvellous bas-reliefs of Traian's Column only from the base of the monument, lonely and proudly staying over the ruines of the buildings that once surrounded it. Let Rome surprise you with the magic of all its languages!
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